I used to use the grape seed oil in my recipes before. Every time when something “healthy” comes out on the market you want to substitute it with something that sounds not too healthy. This is what happened with the Grape seed oil. Few years ago you could find the information that it’s good for you, it’s better than the other vegetable oils, it has a lot of vitamin E etc. By the way, you can still find those articles these days.
But the more you learn, the more knowledge you get about this or that product which turn out not healthy after all.
I made a lot of research about the Grape Seed Oil and found very interesting facts that I will share with you today. By the way, I don’t use it in my cooking more than a year now. and let me tell you why:
Grape Seed Oil is processed from the seeds of grapes, which are formed as a by-product of wine making.
For thousands of years, wine manufacturers have been left with tons of this useless by-product, grape seeds. Due to modern technological advances, they are now able to extract the oil from the seeds, something that wasn’t possible a hundred years ago. The oils are usually extracted in factories using an industrial process. It involves high heat and various chemicals, which includes the toxic solvent hexane.
The “healthier” types of seed- and vegetable oils are “cold pressed” or “expeller pressed” – this is a much more natural way to extract the oil from the seeds. If your oil doesn’t explicitly state how it is processed, then you should assume that it was extracted using chemicals like hexane.
Grape seed oil is extracted from grape seeds, a by-product of wine making. This process usually involves various chemicals, including the toxic solvent hexane.
The health claims for grape seed oil are based on the supposedly high amounts of nutrients, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats.
But here’s a newsflash… most of the nutrients and antioxidants (including the proanthocyanidins) from grape seeds are not present in the oil. After it has gone through the intense chemical extraction process, most of the good stuff has been filtered out.
The only nutrient left in there in any significant amount is Vitamin E. A tablespoon contains 3.9 mg of Vitamin E. However, calorie for calorie, grape seed oil is NOT an impressive source of Vitamin E. Other much better sources include nuts, spinach and various others, these foods also contain a ton of other beneficial nutrients instead of just Vitamin E alone.
One of the claims is true though: grape seed oil is very high in polyunsaturated fats. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are two main kinds of polyunsaturated fats: Omega-3s and Omega-6s.
We need to get these two types in a certain balance in order to maintain optimal health. Most people are eating too few Omega-3s and way too many Omega-6s (7). Many studies show that too many Omega-6s lead to poor health and disease. As it turns out, grape seed oil contains mostly Omega-6 fatty acids, the bad kind.
In several cases, grape seed oil has also been found to contain harmful levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) – substances that are known carcinogens in animals.
Really, there is nothing positive to be said about grape seed oil. It is bad news all around.
Grape seed oil has a high smoke point. For this reason, it is advertised as a good choice for high heat cooking like frying. This is based on a huge misunderstanding. The smoke point of an oil is NOT the determinant of whether it should be used for cooking or not. The number of double bonds in the fatty acid molecules is much more important.
Because grape seed oil is so incredibly high in polyunsaturated fats, it really is one of the worst oils you could possibly use for cooking.
The healthiest cooking oils are those that contain mostly saturated fats (like butter and coconut oil), because they don’t have double bonds and are therefore less likely to react with oxygen when heated.
Grape seed oil isn’t all bad… there are a lot of people who claim that it is good for moisturizing hair and skin. It is also used in massage and aromatherapy.
For this reason, it may have some topical benefits.
But really… this oil should NOT be eaten. There is nothing healthy about it.